Black Bathroom

How to Decorate with Black

You might have seen some really awe-inspiring black rooms on Pinterest and in magazines. Maybe you’re here because you’re curious how to get the sleek and modern look of those black rooms in your own home. Maybe you’re looking at this blog post right now like, “are you crazy? I’d never paint my walls black! Why would anyone ever do that?!” Whatever it may be, don’t worry… We’ve got some answers for you.

Why go black?

For a long time now, you’ve probably seen open, airy, extremely white everything. White kitchens with white subway tiles and white cabinets. While the idea of white sounds really great, in practice it isn’t the most practical… White gets dirty easily and you’ll be constantly cleaning up after fingerprints, smudges, and smears.

Black, on the other hand, will hide a lot of imperfections. Just like putting on a slimming black dress, a dark wall can help hide imperfections in the wall and any soot or scum.

The perils of black

  • There are some problems, however. If black isn’t done correctly, it can come off as very heavy, tight, and “masculine”. It really comes down to a few key factors:
  • The structure of your room.
  • How well thought-out it is.
  • How much planning went into the accessories, styling, and decor.

When thinking of black decor, you’re probably thinking of some 80s black leather sofa. Something not so stylish can drag a room down and make it look like you hobbled your furniture together from hand-me-downs. Let’s talk about improving your “black” experience with decor, and how you can pull it off successfully.

Dipping your toe: A little black

Maybe you’re not all in on the idea of painting any walls black. That’s okay – it’s not for everyone and it certainly isn’t the best usage of some spaces. How can you pull together a room using black?

Think about your space currently. What do you have in the room that’s black? A flatscreen? Is that it? Think about other areas you could tie in black. Since your television is framed in black, maybe all of your artwork and photos should be framed and themed around black as well. Use contrast to your advantage: where there’s white (or a light color), pair it with furniture that has black legs or is black, such as a black end table, or a black area rug.

Marianna by Ruben Ireland

Marianna by Ruben Ireland. Available on Society6.

The Mound II by Ruben Ireland

The Mound II by Ruben Ireland. Available on Society6.

You don’t have to go hog wild with it either. You can choose more contrast exciting black patterns such as checkerboard or gingham. Use patterns and textures along with solids to create a harmonious space. For example, a white couch would look excellent with two black and white checkerboard pillows and two larger solid black pillows. Taking advantage of contrast in your room will help your black look right at home!

Checkerboard Pillow

Buy this pillow sham on Society6 by clicking here.

Diving in: A lot of black

Maybe you do want to get one of those chic looks of a black rooms that you’ve seen on Pinterest. Maybe it involves painting your kitchen cabinets, or painting your walls, but you’re all in.

Here’s what you should plan for:

Keep your black contained to one room

Unless you have a high rise loft condo in New York City that is airy and abundant, chances are you aren’t going to want to paint your entire house black. You just want to get the look in one space. Keep it centralized in a bedroom or office – somewhere that you can shut the door without ruining the cohesiveness of your house.

Black Bathroom

Photo from Corian/Dupont

Think about the lighting in your space

Black, as well as other dark colors, only works if you have a big space with a lot of light coming in — mostly natural light. Since black absorbs light rather than reflecting it, if you have poor lighting in your space, it’s only going to get worse. That’s why black might not work great in basements without windows… Unless you have a lot of light coming from an un-natural source, such as very bright recessed lighting or light fixtures.

If you’re considering painting a room black, but the room is already a dark color and it seems very small and cramped, you should probably reconsider. Dark colors are often used to make large spaces more cozy and intimate, whereas light colors will make a space look larger. For this reason you’ll want to avoid a small bathroom, small kitchen, or any other small space.

With that being said, it’s not totally undoable to put black in a small space. It’s just about lighting and contrast. For example, if you do want to paint your small bathroom black, perhaps keep the molding and fixtures white, and pair your black walls with light or white-framed artwork. Having a light colored flooring may help to keep your space from becoming too cramped as well.

Have you tried black in your space? How did it go? Let us know how you did in the comments below!

Posted in Ideas and Tips and tagged , .

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